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May 2008
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July 2008

It's Beret Clear, Our Love Is Here To Stay

Thank you Beret Much but NO THANKS I knitted myself a beret: On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being abysmal and 10 being OK) this was rated by MrsDrWho as maybe a 4. It didn't last for a year, or even for a day. My beret wasn't here to stay. I am working my way up through the numbers until I reach the dizzy heights of a hat I can wear. I used Jet, green variegated Jet that I love so much. I wore The Beret inside and my head was so hot I felt slightly faint!!!

Harki has been to The Vet for her annual check-up. She was declared very fit and well and happy but on an upward spiral weight-wise. Poor Harki. She's not desperately overweight, but soon she will be Nine and she needs to be slim so her hips and joints can cope. So now, instead of a cup of rice or pasta, they may have a tablespoon. The rest is boiled cabbage, celery and other green vegetables. Poor babies, but it is for their own good and sad as it may seem, they will happily eat a bowl of vegetables with just a small amount Please don't leave me at the vetof proper dried dog food. We are feeling very virtuous and we are going every fortnight so they can both be weighed. Not much guilt and pressure for me, but it works!!!

Peri has been rather a good girl lately. We met two people on our walk, and she neither ran like a Pamplona bull, nor leaped like a thing-that-leaps. She came when I called her and had her lead clipped on like a very good girl. Then we all went to The Black Spot of DoomLight (TM). The car park is an exciting place for Labradors. I just needed a reel of cotton but they wagged their tails at everyone!!!

I had been trying very hard to post more regularly, but my Gerogette Heyer slight decline after my mum's visit turned into a bigger Florence Nightingale sojourn and I spent a couple of days in bed. Poor MrsDrWho: poor me!! I missed her Regeneration dinner and she missed out on Regeneration paraphernalia till last night when I rallied. I had been doing Secret Knitting and Sewing for her, and here is some of the Secret Knitting........

Imaginary Husband Felted bag Timeline

One: The Imaginary Husband Felted Bag (Rav Link) This is made from Bendigo Rustic 12ply in Midnight Tweed and some Woolbale in reds, oranges and yellows courtesy of the very kind Katt!! I knitted round and round till I'd used up a ball and then I split the bag at the back and knitted back and forth in plain and purl so I could do the logo, then I rejoined and went on knitting in a circular fashion. I added i-cord handles and edging at the top and duplicate stitched on the words. It felted so well!! I lined it and gave it away very sadly, because I really wanted to keep it. I think that makes it the best kind of gift. A true sacrifice!!! I am thinking of making myself one in Green Tweed with a TARDIS and K9.

Two: Rat Rat Ratties Rug (Rav Link)  I made the 'Mouse Mat for a Cat' for the Kittens. I knitted it in acrylic so it could be washed without fear of felting and I lined it with some lovely fur that matches their Cat Tunnel I made for Christmas. Both Cleo and Caramello road tested the rug and it seemed to be approved. Like a credit card, it had already been pre-approved by The Labradors.Rat Rat Ratties Rug

Samsara has tagged me, and I haven't really completed this tag before (trying to avoid saying 'done' and I do try and avoid 'nice' and definitely 'got'):

1. What was I doing ten years ago? I would have been packing up and leaving my classroom after the first week back in the Winter term. Harki wasn't living at our house, and neither was Peri. It was Vundy the German Shepherd and Tori the Crippled Labrador back then.

2. What are 5 things on my To Do list today? The first was a sleep in, as I didn't have to take The Labradors for a walk, secondly I went to The Library, thirdly I wanted to add things to my Ravelry projects, fourth would be taking up the hem on my new jeans (didn't do that) and fifth was to blog, which I am doing now!!

3. Snacks I enjoy?? I like cheese in all its many forms and a platter of fruit and cheese is even better. Crisps- plain crisps.

4. Things I would Do If I were a Billionaire? I would have a lot more Labradors, a circular gravel drive and a Library with those slide-along ladders, green leather chairs and a fire. I would buy MrsDrWho a Nubian Slave.

5. Places I have lived? Well I have only lived here on The Apple Isle.Peri Steady Jump

6. Jobs I have had? I was a teacher. That is all I have done. I did teach dancing too. Do not laugh MrsDrWho, nor picture in your mind the Hippos from Fantasia.

7. If you would like to be tagged, knock yourself out!!!

This picture of Peri shows her about to leap off the side of the hill onto the path. I have my heart in my mouth!! Her back legs are all muscled up and ready to spring. She jumps on and off things all the time and shows no fear at all. We've had lots of rain, which has made the bush nice and green. Other than that, there's nothing much to tell,  though I think people should prepare,  because I plan to take pictures of the small quilt I made for MrsDrWho and her Madonna Hat. I shall exercise my terrible photographic skills once more!!!  We watched more Doctor Who last night and we have the two Library episodes to watch tomorrow. The we are off to see the Narnia movie before it disappears from the cinema.


I Need A Lover With A (Lindsay) S-Lohan

 River of Mist at the Gorge It's quite chilly in the morning when we walk, I mean zero is cold, right?? I took a picture of a river of mist: very LOTR. I wear my warm jeans, but still, my legs are cold. I am thinking, god help me, of buying some leggin's (I think it is compulsory to omit the 's', so I've used an apostrophe of omission. Like in Scrapbookin') The How What Not To Look Like site has made me wary of Leggin's. Look at Lindsay Lohan. Look some more. The girl spends almost her entire life in leggin's. I just want to reassure the World, that though I make you gaze in awe (pious fear) at my knees and upper arms in Summer, you will never see the leggin's. All legs will be safely concealed under my jeans. I wonder if they make green leggin's?

Yesterday my mum came to visit for the day. We had a lovely day!!! She came on the bus in time for lunch. We bought twelve green buttons for $1-10 in total: what a bargain!!! I bought her the book she wanted, and some delicious Clarnico peppermints and dusted jelly babies. We found a new wallet she really liked and she only nearly lost her old wallet once: it was under her arm. We went to visit MrsDrWho and her kittens with afternoon tea from the french patisserie and then at 5-30pm she was off home again. I am having a little Georgette Heyer decline today. My mum won't visit my house because she doesn't likeHarki is quizzical, studies maths and physical The Labradors. Kittens are OK. MrsDrWho is very kind to let my mum visit at her house!!! My mum and my aunt are coming to visit again in August. Harki and Peri weren't unhappy, they had a special bone and then we all went to bed early and they had an extra treat or four!!! MrsDrWho ran interference for me this week on the dog front: there were three or four frantic phone calls to stop me watching the NCIS episode with the German Shepherd. I can't bear to watch when a dog is hurt or badly treated on TV. MrsDrWho saved me, and then furnished me a pain-free precis of the episode!!!

Last week I lost my Library Card. This is my fourth card in about 10 years, but I use my card a lot and sometimes I put it in the bag with my books and it is lost forever. Until I ask for a Replacement Card. Then the old card turns up straight away. Yesterday I found the card before last!! So I logged onto TALISPlus and to my horror my carefully chosen and cultivated Wish List had disappeared!! Thank goodness my Holds List seemed OK. I emailed The Library and they replied saying that they had never come across this Hoverdogcraft problem, there was some kind of anomaly that had never arisen before, but they would try and retrieve my Wish List of books and fix the system so no-one else would lose their List when their card was replaced. This morning they found my List and restored it!! Well done State Library. Now, if only they would let me have a card for Harki and Peri...........

Due to the Maternal Visit and the Time Lady's Regeneration I have been quite busy. There are two pictures of the Secret Knitting projects. It's a good thing I am feeling quite pink at the moment. I do like to reply to my comments, and no doubt there will be some witty and amusing (not!!) missives winging their way through the ether soon. I should aim to do this in the night Secret Knitting ready to felttime as tomorrow is the Shortest Day. I think tonight is the Longest Night, at least that's what the astronomer on the ABC was saying this afternoon. Thank you for all your hat advice. I even found a thread Secretly Knitting Spike Millignaon The Ravelry for People Who Do Not Look Good in Hats!!! While we were looking at hats, MrsDrWho found a few she would like, and my mum liked the Laminaira shawl and she'd like it to be green!! I have been knitting for other people lately and not very much for me so there has been a distinct lack of green. Speaking of greem it's twenty years ago today that we said goodbye to the two dollar note. Where did all the time go?? It seems like only yesterday the $2 coin arrived on the monetary scene. I still don't like them as much as notes, but at least our new coins and polymer notes don't disintegrate in the washing machine!!!

Tonight I am going to an MS fundraising evening just a few houses up the road. I can have a glass of wine and then just walk past one house and I will be home!!! This post may be in several shades of green. For reasons known only to those 'improving' Typepad, it insists on highlighting everything and making it Chartreuse, not just my clicky links. And last, but not least, The ABC has started to show promos for the new season of Docotor Who, and they are giving away spoilers. Shame on them, shame, shame, shame!!!


Smoke me a (WW)KIPper, I'll be back for breakfast!

Collage WWKIP Day was ace, not Ace Rimmer, but ace!! There were more than twelve knitters but very few Real People seemed interested. I don't mind that. I like knitting, I don't need to proselytise, and I'm happy to follow my own knitting destiny. Here are some of the feet of the KIPpers. I'm not there, neither is Magdalene or MrsDrWho. Not sure if I have missed anyone else. It was deathly cold to start with and I was scarved, mittened and cardiganed but the Sun soon warmed us all. It was a very happy knitting outing and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely!!

Speaking of cold, it was zero degrees yesterday when we went for our walk at 8-28am. Did this give Peri pause? No, of course it did not. She raced about in the frost and then dove, not once but twice, into the little creek. Then she ran about like a mad thing!!! Harki is much more sensible and didn't want to have cold water shaken on her. She looked at me in askance, hoping that I wasn't Icy swimmer Periexpecting her to swim!!

It seems that some children and youths were still on holidays today, and they spent quite a lot of the day yahooing up and down the street. Harki was very cross. They banged the railing on the footpath and shouted. They weren't technically doing anything wrong, but they disturbed the house. Harki kept having to go out onto the veradah and once she was very cross and barked and all her hackles were raised up. What a brave girl she is!!!

There has been knitting: I made Unravelled's Time Thief Watch Cap in Vintage Hues. I call it The Howard Hues Hat, it certainly feels like a million dollars when you wear it. It's so lovely and warm that I decided I need a Harki is quizzical, studies maths and physical hat too, Hackles abound but I definitely don't suit a beanie. MrsDrWho, who suits all hats, says that when I wear a beanie you see the outline of my head. This is not a good thing. Usually I have wavy sticky-outy hair, and so I look funny with no hair and a fitted hat. In her venerable opionion I need a sticky-outy hat that mirrors my hair. Any suggestions???

Give a woman a hat and she has, well, a hat. Teach her to knit and before you know it she is saying that she's buying some Vintage Hues of her own and making herself a hat. I had to stop MrsDrWho right there and say I had already bought some extra and I was doing secret beanie knitting. Not so secret anymore, but there is other secret knitting, with a bazillion ends yet to be sewn in!!!!! My aunt loved the SwallowTail Shawl I knitted for her and now my mum would like a small shawl as well. I had another search and I think I will make the small version of Laminaria from Howard Hues Hat Knitty.com.

This morning I had to read The People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks. I stayed in bed till almost 10-30am or when The Labradors were so hungry that they sat on me and the book. It was a quick read, and since it has just won a prize I reckoned that other people would want to borrow it soon.

I have neglected my comment replying, I will catch up over the next day or so. I have also neglected to take a casserole photo. I'll do that too. Meanwhile, I have managed to take a picture of the inside of the little Star Wars trinkets for The Thing StarWarsBoy!!! Got to get my priorities right. They are so cute: inside each is a tiny figure in a tiny setting reflecting the outer head. So cool!! I have arranged them in the same configuration as they were in the last post. Darth Vader keeps collapsing, as you do when you are an evil doer!!

I'm  nearly at the end of North by Northwest. Cary Grant is ubercool, though a bit old at 55 to play the Star Wars The Inside Storyyoungish romantic lead. He almost has Harry High Pants happening and Eva Marie Saint just can't play 26 at 35. The film is still great and keeps me on the edge of my seat. The dialogue is quite risque, and it's not just me thinking that!! I can't believe it is almost 50 years old.

So next time: recipe for a casserole and maybe even another hat!!!


You're So Rain, You Probably Think This Song Is About You.

It has been raining. Really raining. Raining for 48 hours. It's not that we don't need the rain, but did we have to get a month's worth in two days??? Everything feels wet and soggy and The poor Labradors, who are apparently made from sugar, won't go outside in case they melt. Instead, while I was out, they had a biscuit party. They are organic biscuits and must not be very tasty because there were some left in the box.

While you were out we had a party

They are quite happy to go for a walk in the rain and play in the little creeks and puddles though, as these pictures show.

Harki and Peri wonder at the 'wet' stuff

A river runs through Harki

A river runs through Peri

I have a new cookbook,  the AWW's One Pot. I just made the Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Casserole. It is soooo delicious!! I'll take a picture tomorrow. What is even better is that the chicken was incorrectly priced and it was FREE. I only wanted to pay the correct price and be refunded the difference, but it was FREE. I used thigh cutlets and just stripped the cooked meat from the small bones. 

Now here is a picture for Day to Day's son, StarWarsBoy. It is too dark to take a proper photo, but next time I post, I'll open these up and you can see what's inside!! It is a sad, but true, fact that I chose the colours for my loungeroom based on a Star Wars framed print.

These open up. Next time.......   

I am making a scarf for WWKIP which is at the QVMAG on Saturday. People may, or may not, knit some of the scarf. I have wound up little balls for this Fibonacci scarf and if they don't knit any rows I'll finish it. We are donating the scarves to a charity. I've also, with MrsDrWho's assistance, made some cards to hand out with some handy information for knitters, or would-be knitters.

WWKIP Scarf

WWKIP Cards

I am having Picture Insertion issues today. They can only be on the left, not wrapped, and there is a script running. I have no idea what this means. I have also bitten my tongue. It really hurts.

Tomorrow I am helping MrsDrWho cook a birthday cake and then there will be an outing to a Greek restaurant. I went to the BSODL (TM) today because they rang to tell me that a pattern I ordered in Summer had arrived. When I arrived there the pattern had departed, mysterously. They asked me all sorts of questions about it, but I had already abandoned all hope. I bought some Vintage Hues. I bought and opened some short 6.5mm needles and knitted while I waited. I waited so long I had to claim my Golden Parking Token and move the car. I didn't cry though!!!

I've been reading my Doctor Who books, I read three the other day and I have three more to pick up soon. Hope to watch some more of the new season of Doctor Who before school goes back too!!!


Elizabeth Aaaaaargh

Nothing as wonderful as Glenda Jackson in the eponymous mini-series, but we do have a holiday today for E2R's birthday. I am of course philosophically opposed to a holiday for the monarch of another country's birthday, and also the honours when they go to people like the ex-PM. I can't think of anything he did that I, as an Australian, am proud of. I vote all volunteers and carers and the like get awards, not people who are awarded for the jobs they are paid to do, and nothing more.

I am not an iron woman in the usual sense of the word, but MrsDrWho will affirm that I am more than slightly addicted to ironing my fabric stash!!! There is nothing I enjoy more than taking the freshly washed fabric and ironing it smooth and then folding it and pressing in the creases and stacking it up. I abhor any other ironing, but can while away a happy hour at the ironing board, with The Labradors looking on, ironing my fabric.

Iron woman

The Labradors stared me into an extra walk this week. I was moving books in a box to the back of the car and they stood at the gate and looked at me with their big pleading eyes and cried pitifully. I took them for a walk!!!

Ready Steady to Go  

The run to the gate and wait for me to open it, and then we're off. Today there were flocks of black cockatoos, squawking and swooping. I was worried they might swoop down and carry Peri away because she was most interested. MrsDrWho said it would take a whole lot of pterodactyls to carry Peri away. She is a cruel and unnatural aunt. Harki explores up hill and down dale, jumping over branches and through the grass.

Down the hill comes Harki

When we get home, Peri needs a big nap, and she has started to steal my spot on the couch.....

Peri's not for moving...

I am knitting and sewing at the moment but I am working on Belafonte ( the Dayflower Lace Scarf ) My friend, Mrs Mauritius, thought she had lost the chocolate coloured Zhivago Branching Out I knitted for her, but she found it at her mum's. I am knitting her a new scarf as an early birthday present. It is quite good TV knitting, as long as I tick off the rows as I go. I can see there is a rhythm to the pattern in the chart, but I need to check each row if I'm watching Stargate at the same time!!! This is definitely going to need some serious blocking.

Belafonte starts

Last night I watched Persuasion. P&P is definitely my favourite Austen, but this adaptation has moved Persuasion up to equal second alongside Sense and Sensibility. Next week it's Northanger Abbey and then Billie Piper (Rose from Docotor Who) is Fanny in Mansfield Park in the last week. The six books and another docudrama are being shown as The Jane Austen Season in the USA, but we won't see P&P or S&S or the doco. I must say that Persuasion was awash with emotion and Rupert Penry-Jones makes me swoon!!

This afternoon I am off, as Avon would say, to visit a sick friend. (I have been reading my Blake's 7 episode guide in bed this weekend.) And then I hope to do some embroidery. Tomorrow I am having lunch with both The Knitting Coven and my Sewing Group at the same time in the same place - It's all very sitcom!!!

Oh, and I can't add Categories today. Typepad had decided I can't see them, let alone select any.

Next day: there are  Categories, all of them, not just the ones I have selected. Beggars can't be choosers though!!!


It's TypePad, Bad, Leroy Brown, Baddest Man in the Whole Damn Town

SoTrit trot trit trot I sat at my computer two nights ago, yesterday and this morning trying to upload my post and pictures. I keep getting error messages. Typepad had updated their Compose page which means that something that worked perfectly well before, now had a bazillion bugs for me and won't work properly. I tried to ask for Help, but they're not playing (they might be now): They're from Typepad and they're not here to help and there's not a cheque in the mail!!! The BlackSpot of Doomlight is also enhancing their system which means it takes at least twice as long to transact a purchase. I know I have to move with the times but I  wish times would slow, ever so slightly.

Here's a helpful tip: Don't spill a whole cup of tea into your shoe while you are wearing said shoe. Just saying, it's not a worthwhile experience.

After such a long time I am finally feeling better and back to the real world, though I seem to have passed Peri, Ottoman Queen with her treasure cup on my cold to other people!!! I think I have pretty much managed to reply to all my very kind comments but I still have so many posts from other people to catch up on. The weather has been wonderfully warm and sunny and even rainy. Harki and Peri love the temperate climes. It is the perfect weather for walking in the morning, lying in the Sun in the afternoon and then snuggling up on the couch in the evening. At home they have been paying long games of Tug-of-War and generally running about a lot in and out, up and down. Finally they are so exhausted they go straight to sleep and Harki snores!!! Peri sleeps on the ottoman, on which she barely fits, but is determined to do so. She takes her Trophy of The Games with her.

One Diamond in the Stream Last Saturday we has our second Ravelry Outing. Some knitters dressed for Winter but it was actually so warm they sweltered. Such fun was had and I met some blogging friends in real life: Hi SlimSuzi!! I have been knitting my Diamonds in the Stream socks, in fact I have finished one and started the other. I also knitted a One Row Pattern scarf in some gorgeous green handspun alpaca. It is perfect and I have worn it a lot. I sat on the couch and watched Dexter while I knitted. Dexter is weirdly Scarf Jack good, but might be too confronting for those of a delicate nature, of which I am obviously not!! I also, shock/horror, cut off the GiTNEB's buttonband and reknitted it with my favourite buttonholes and I also made it just a tad wider. Now my happiness is complete!!!

In political news, Big Red has resigned and we have a new Fearless Leader . I am not sure about him yet, though he has decided not to fund Gunn's Boogelly Pulp MIll PipeLine. The ANZ has also decided not to fund The Mill itself. Well done ANZ!!!

MrsDrWho and I have pushed our cinematic viewing experience boundary by going to the pictures twice in a fortnight!!! We saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I went along not expecting very much and so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself having a good time. It is no Citizen Kane, or even Citizen Indiana, but it is a good finale to the series. There's humour, adventure, scary bits, snappy dialogue, some fantastic chase sequences and great 'in' jokes for those in the know. I reckon I liked Iron Man better. We have some more films to see: The Chronicles of Narnia-Prince Caspian, The X-Files 2 and another one, maybe The Dark Knight?? I have only seen the first Batman movie, and to be frank, I liked the camp TV series best. I also have to confess I have never seen The Princess Bride. According to MrsDrWho this makes me a Film Barbarian!!!

Thank you to Inkberryblue who's awarded me this. I don't ever think my life is really interesting, I just potter along, but I am glad my wittering on is able to amuse and entertain others!!!

I love Amy Johnson. Amy Johnson is delicious, and no, I haven't suddenly turned cannibal, Amy Johnson is a delicious slice from The Olden Days. You never see a recipe for Amy Johnson anymore, or even the slice itself. I baked Amy Johnson for MrsDrWho, and one bite was enough to bring childhood memories flooding back. My nan would always cook Amy Johnson slice (going for the World's Record in Amy Johnson mentions here!!) for us. It is not too rich, so you can eat quite a few pieces if you want to. And it is one of the things I do want!!! Here's the recipe. It has a few parts and steps, but it is quite easy and definitely worth the effort!!!

 

Amy Johnson Slice

Pastry Base

  • 1 cup of self raising flourAmy Johnson 1
  • 2 tbspn butter
  • a little milk
  • about a cup of dark jam: raspberry, blackberry, whatever
  • 1 or 2 cups of currants

Cake Layer

  • 135g butter
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbspn milk
  • 1 tspn vanilla extractAmy Johnson 2
  • 225g self raising flour

Icing

  • juice of a lemon
  • 500g icing sugar
  • a little hot water

Preheat the oven to 180*C and grease and line a lamington tray ( or any tray approximately 30 x 25 x 3 cm) with baking paper.

To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour and then mix in enough milk to make a dough, not too sticky. Knead lightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then roll out on a floured surface until quite thin and cover the base of the tray. Thin is good, I even had a little dough left over. You can cut and paste to fit, it is the base after all!!

Spread the jam evenly over the base and then scatter the currants generously over the jam in a Nigella kind of way.

Next, the cake layer. Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla, and then fold in the flour and milk. You may need to add a little extra milk to make the mixture easier to spread. I used the back of a big spoon dipped into a cup of boiling water to spread it evenly. It works really well.

Bake for 35-45 minutes..You will know it is cooked when the top springs back and is golden brown. It will also come away from the side of the tin. Make the icing and spread over the cooled slice and then cut into small pieces. It makes a lot. Then eat it. Yum!!!